16 October 2011

Going Back Home

Shillong Peak, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
I'm going home. Next month at this time I will be in the hills of north east India. I haven't to Shillong since I graduated from St. Mary's High School in Laitumkrah many years ago. I went back to India once but at that time the hill states were closed to travelers and Darjeeling was as close as I could get. This time my daughter is going with me to see what I've been talking about all these years.  Sorry folks - my Khasi is so very rusty! I'll be embarrassed to open my mouth.

I've  been warned that things have changed - there is more traffic and noisy congestion, the sweet cottages with flower gardens are now buildings made of cement. My old bedroom where four of the eight Perry kids slept in a double bunk bed is now a classroom in the elementary school where my father was headmaster. I've asked to walk to the river where we washed clothes on Saturday mornings, picnicking and playing wild games while our laundry dried on the bushes.

The state's name "Meghalaya" means Abode of the Clouds and the British liked to call it their Scotland of the East. Most years it is the rainiest place in the world.  We are going north to places I've never been and will ride elephants on safari in Kaziranga. As soon as we land we are heading to a village drum festival.

My brother Jim lives there still with his wife and three young sons. I asked what I should bring and he emailed a link to a cookie press. They want to make Christmas cookies. It is the only thing already packed in my suitcase. I stopped at Micheal's today and picked up cookie cutters (still need gingerbread men), piping tips for icing and food coloring. Send me any of your best holiday cookie recipes! This should be interesting!

I don't leave until the second week in November but it is starting to feel like I am going on an adventure. It is all very exciting!